Inner peace is the by-product of knowing the self, truth or absolute.

Inner peace is the by-product of knowing the self, truth or absolute.

There are only two ways to experience it: the fake way, which is common and popular; or the existential, or right way, which is uncommon and rare.

We can conclude this ourselves after understanding these two stories:

1. A king had a small but serene kingdom that was both a city and state, like Washington D.C., which had a huge palace, like the White House, for the king and his family.

He was very popular and loved by the majority, as anyone could approach him easily on any problem and the king would solve it amicably. People were very happy for his wisdom and prompt solutions. People praised him as an ideal king and loved him like an elderly family member.

During that ancient time, clean drinking water for the king and his subjects came from two separate wells, one for the subjects in the middle of the city and one for the royal family in the palace compound.

The people's well was polluted or contaminated by miscreants. It was the only source of water for all except the king and his family, so there was no way to avoid drinking from it. So all the common people entered into a drunken or euphoric state, behaving as if they were nearly mad. In their drunken state, the people believed it was the king and his family who were mad. After thoughtful discussions, they decided they must help the royal family as compassionate subjects.

They rushed to the palace to save the king by advising him not to drink water from his palace well, but to get water from the public well. They thought that the king's well was poisoned and they had to save him.

As the king was totally normal, he asked his advisors what to do in the situation and asked his subjects to come and have water from the palace well to save their mental health and to be normal. Hearing this offer, the people felt that the king had gone from bad to worse and thought that he would force them to drink from the palace well. So they decided they had better make him normal before he forced them to use water from his well. They marched in unison to the palace to advise and force the royals to drink water from the public well, so they could to come to their senses.

Hearing this, the king became worried for his subjects as well as for himself and his family. How to make them understand that they are abnormal and not he?

The crowd was nearly at the gates of the palace, so the king's wise prime minister assessed the volatile situation and strongly suggested that the king and family run for their lives from the back gate of the palace and drink the water from public well to save their lives from the mad, uncontrollable crowd. They all visualized the outcome and did so, saving themselves by becoming part of the mad crowd by drinking water to their hearts' content from the public well and they started jumping, dancing and singing like the unruly crowd. His subjects were happy to see this change in the king and they thought he had become normal like them, which gave more cause to celebrate more violently, and all felt relief. What a compromise.

2. An intelligent chief justice met with Socrates and offered two alternatives to save his life. He said that Socrates was totally innocent and natural and that is why unconscious elders felt inferior and wanted to poison him. The justice advised Socrates to either go beyond the boundaries of this city/state, to where the law was not applicable, or stop talking to the masses, as the elders thought he was corrupting the young. Both were not agreeable to Socrates and he asked for the poison willingly and consciously, as he had found his inner peace and deathlessness.

So it is everyone's birthright if we are not ready to compromise the truth and our original nature.

Dr. Gokul R. Gokani (Swami Anand Krishna) has lived in Ashland since 1999. He is a reiki master, ayurveda counselor, healer and spiritual counselor. Contact him at dr_gokani@hotmail.com. Send 700-word inner peace articles to Sally McKirgan @innerpeace@q.com.